Skip to comments.Laos Hmong leader Vang Pao denied Arlington burial
Posted on 02/04/2011 8:38:33 PM PST by Racehorse
The US Army has rejected a request for ethnic Hmong leader Vang Pao to be buried with full military honours in Arlington National Cemetery.
Gen Pao led a 15-year CIA-sponsored secret war in Laos during the Vietnam War and, when it was lost, led tens of thousands of his people into exile.
He died last month. The army's decision came as mourners attended the first day of a six-day funeral in California.
Gen Pao's friends said they would appeal to the White House.
"Obviously to everyone who is here today to honour Gen Vang Pao, this is very disappointing," said Congressman Jim Costa, who led a group of lawmakers to lobby for the general to be buried alongside US soldiers in Arlington.
"He is not just a hero to the Hmong people. He is a hero to those American men and women who served with him in Vietnam."
A spokesman for the Pentagon, Gary Tallman, said the request had been thoroughly reviewed but that the board had unanimously decided he did not meet the criteria for burial in the cemetery.
Military veteran Charlie Waters, a friend of Gen Pao's, said he had been given "a lame excuse that it would take the place away from an American serviceman".
"So we're appealing to the White House," Mr Waters told AFP news agency, adding that he had offered to give up his own plot.
It was not immediately clear where Gen Pao would now be interred.
Vang Pao died at the age of 81 in January in Fresno, California, a centre of the Hmong expatriate community in the US.
Tens of thousands of military and Hmong mourners have gathered in the city for his traditional funeral.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
"Peace with Honor" [sarc tag implied]
Hey, here's a thought - go "Egypt" on the White Hut. Bring the funeral to DC. Gather on the Mall.
The guy isn’t US military? So sorry.
They have room for Teddy Kennedy but not room for an actual hero.
I agree, Arlington should be reserved for only U.S. Military.
Great point. A point lost on all the anti-military folks. As someone that spent time working with the Hmong, these people were with us and yet were abandoned by us in the end ... sad.
So what do you do with a privateer?
I don’t know about Arlington, but Vang Pao in my mind was a great ally.
And Yes, he and the Hmong did kill a lot of Pathet Lao (commies) on the Plain of Jars.
If you don’t think he was brave, loyal to the U.S. and a tough soldier, ask anyone who knew Tony Poe and Pop Buell.
Rest in peace Royal Lao major general Vang Pao.
Oh that’s right Teddy Kennedy was a U-boat commander after all...
Say...wasnt he against the vietnam war?
That's kind of a dumb comment. What makes people "anti-military"? Because we don't think a foreign collaberator should be buried in Arlington makes us anti-military in general?
We lost that war. If the guy is such a hero, there is room in his home country. People who feel that way are not anti-military. Probably they're very pro-military because they want that ground reserved for the US military.
Re Tallman: I spit upon his grandmother’s shadow.
I don’t doubt that he was a great ally. It is just that he was not a member of the American military. We are running out of space at Arlington, and I think what is there should be for Americans who served in the American military.
The appeal might work if they stipulate that Gen Pao had converted to islam.